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Repairing A Very Old Acoustic Guitar


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I just acquired a 1910 B&J Serenader. It is in relatively good condition for being almost 100 years old. There is a crack that runs down a portion of the spruce top and it goes all the way through. I've separated all the pieces and will be re assembling the guitar after I repair all the problems. The top is bowed and bubbled slightly and the back is worse. I've never done a repair like this before so I need some advice.

I plan to strip the top and bottom of their finishes, soak them in very hot water for a few minutes, and then press them flat with a weighted press. Once the top and bottom are flat I will be able to repair or fill the cracks.

Is this the best plan for straightening the wood?

What is the best way to fill one of these cracks if the wood doesn't quite meet up once it's been straightened?

I would like to preserve as much of this guitar as possible. Any help or experienced opinions are greatly appreciated.

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I would like to preserve as much of this guitar as possible.

Really ???

From what you wrote above that, I would assume the exact opposite.

Get yourself on a decent acoustic repair forum, where they'll steer you right. (Even if they seem mean, they're trying to steer you right).

Project guitar forum = pitiful for vintage restoration work advice.

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I would like to preserve as much of this guitar as possible.

Really ???

From what you wrote above that, I would assume the exact opposite.

Get yourself on a decent acoustic repair forum, where they'll steer you right. (Even if they seem mean, they're trying to steer you right).

Project guitar forum = pitiful for vintage restoration work advice.

+1

Pitiful for vintage repair or restoration is a VERY gentle way to put it. I know there are a few guys who have a few from scratch acoustics under their belt, but I can't think of many very experienced acoustic repair folks, especially vintage or historic specialists. Much larger skill set involved in repair and restoration.

FWIW; if your goal is to keep the original wood and bracing in tact, Soaking in hot water is the last thing I would go to.

Rich

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What Rich and the Sudsy One said. Restoration and repair are, IMO, some of the most difficult skills to master - I can remove a fretboard, do basic fix-ups, but I'm in no way an expert, or even apprentice-level, when it comes to repair. I barely know my way around building acoustics as it is :D

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